Social Security Disability FAQs
Q: What is social security disability?
A: Social security disability is a general term for two different governmental programs which provide monetary and medical benefits for individuals who meet the government’s definition of “disability.” The two programs, Title II and Title XVI (also known as supplemental security income benefits or “SSI”) have different eligibility standards. To be eligible for Title II benefits, an individual must meet the government’s definition of disabled, and the individual must have acquired sufficient work credits over his or her working life. To be eligible for SSI benefits, an individual must meet the government’s definition of disabled, and the individual’s monthly income must be under certain limits set by the government.
Q: Do I meet the government’s definition of “disability?”
A: If you have been disabled for twelve months or are expected to be disabled for twelve months, you may be disabled under the Social Security Administration’s rules. To determine if an individual is sufficiently disabled to receive social security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration utilizes a multi-step process involving complex medical and vocational rules and regulations. An experienced attorney can assist you in proving that you are disabled under the Social Security Administration’s rules and regulations.
Q: How do I apply for social security disability benefits?
A: You can apply for benefits by calling the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213, by visiting your local Social Security Administration office, or by filing an online application. For more information , visit the official Social Security Administration website at www.ssa.gov.
Q: What if the Social Security Administration denies my claim?
A: If your claim gets denied, don’t give up! The vast majority of social security claims that are filed are denied initially. The Social Security regulations provide for a multi-level appeal process followed by a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge who works for the Social Security Administration. An experienced attorney can assist you in navigating through the appeal process, and prepare appeal paperwork on your behalf.
Q: What happens at my social security hearing?
A: At your hearing before the Administrative Law Judge, you will be questioned regarding your work history, medical conditions, symptoms and restrictions on daily activities. Testimony will often be taken from a vocational expert who may also be present for your hearing. This individual gives opinion testimony regarding your potential ability to work. Occasionally, testimony will also be taken from one or more medical experts employed by the Social Security Administration. These doctors will testify regarding your medical conditions and the restrictions caused by the conditions. An experienced attorney can thoroughly prepare you to testify at the hearing. The attorney can also cross examine all witnesses who testify at your hearing to assist you in proving that you are disabled.